photo: Splash

Gina Rodriguez is the queen of nice. She always comes across as poised, charismatic, sweet and inspirational as hell. It's pretty impossible to see her as a star anyone can dislike or hate on, yet, the "Jane the Virgin" star is not immune to people's cruel comments and opinions. 

In the cover story for the September issue of Health, the 32-year-old actress revealed that her recent hair transformation — she shaved the side of her head — exposed her to the ugly side of social media.

"I got some girls who were like, 'Nooo! Why???' Or like, 'It's so ugly! You don't look pretty anymore,'" she told the mag. 


She cut her hair for a role in the film "Annihilation" and said she found the trim to be "liberating." (And it looked freaking awesome!)

But after being insulted on social media, she had to take time reevaluate what she considers attractive. 

"What I realized is that I rediscovered my beauty, and it does not live in my hair. It doesn't live in makeup and it doesn't live in clothes and it doesn't live in my weight. And I realized that health exists in mental strength and loving yourself. It's been awesome to rediscover part of myself where I don't have to rely on anything but my character, my heart, my mind, and my intelligence, which are what make me beautiful." 

Like many women, her journey to being comfortable in her own skin has taken time and commitment. When she was first diagnosed with Hashimoto's disease at 19, she said "it felt like a curse."

The disease impacts Rodriguez's thyroid, slowing her metabolism and making it hard for her to keep weight off. As an actress in a superficial industry, she initially felt defeated by the diagnosis. Now, she see's it as a "blessing." 

"It actually became a blessing because then I got to represent not only women and Latinas but also women who are dealing with this disease," she said.

Speaking from personal experience, the fact that Rodriguez has graced another health/fitness focused publication means everything to me.

Seeing her embrace her curves – first on Women's Health and now Health magazine is empowering AF. 

And Rodriguez is more than up for the task of being the woman we all look up to.

"When you're blessed to live out your dreams, there is a responsibility to share your path and also excite and enlighten others... My gift to [my fans] is to be open. We're all human. We all have challenges, obstacles, illusions, and fears that stop us from living that better version of ourselves."

If people don't want to recognize her beauty and power that's on them. She's taken control of her destiny and nothing is going to get in her way.

"All of those thoughts, 'I'm not pretty enough, smart enough, strong enough,' only exist within you ... Let's start breaking these thoughts down and understand where the illusion lies, where the truth lies, where your control is, and what you can do to make it better. Now, when somebody tells me no, I say, 'OK, thank you. I'm gonna look for the yes. Your no doesn't end my world.'"